Pair give rivals sinking feeling
Two crews from Manly Sailing Club have proved they ruled the water off Hervey Bay in the Australian Skiff Association Championships.
The Sydney stablemates won both national titles on offer at the end of the week-long regatta - they didn't have to wait for yesterday's final race to do it either.
Skippers Clint Bowen and Declan Reilly had already secured the titles in their respective divisions before the seventh race.
Clint Bowen, the skipper of Fluid Building, and his crew of Anthony King and Brent Dennis won the 16ft division after proving to be unbeatable in the first four races.
Bowen, a two-time former winner of the title, steered his high performance three-man dinghy to victory in all four races.
He backed that up by finishing third twice and that proved more than enough to hold off the challenge from the chasing fleet.
The 16ft championship was contested by 23 boats with Hervey Bay's Jim Thorburn, a member of the host club, the Scarness-based Maryborough Sailing Club, the only local in the fleet.
The 59-year-old Thorburn finished last but said he didn't mind.
"I've had a ball this week," Thorburn said.
"It's been a fantastic expereince."
As for the champion, Rob Wasson, president of the Australian 16ft Skiff Association, said Bowen had once again proved to be a worthy winner.
"Clint's always very consistent and he makes very few mistakes," Wasson, who sailed in titles when they were held in Hervey Bay in 1990-91, said.
"It was always going to be hard to stop him from winning the way he started the week."
In the 13ft championship, defending champions, Reilly and his crewman Alex McFadyen, also proved to be as hard to beat as Bowen and his crew.
The pair sailed Bell Potter to victory in an impressive five out of the first six races.